Dhokar Dalna is a classic Bengali dish that features lentil cakes called dhoka and potato chunks in a curry sauce that is free of onions and garlic. The use of fried lentil cakes gives this dish a distinct flavor. I will be sharing the step-by-step process for making the dhoka bhaja from scratch as well as the process for preparing the curry in this post.
Growing up in a Bengali household, I was always surrounded by an array of delicious dishes that tantalized my taste buds. However, there was one dish that never quite made it to my list of favorites - Dhokar Dalna. This popular vegetarian dish is made with lentil cakes and is a staple in Bengali cuisine. Despite not being a big fan of it myself, I often find myself making it for my husband who absolutely loves it.
My mother is an expert at making Dhoka-r Dalna, and her recipe is one of the best I have ever tasted. She never uses pre-packaged mixes while preparing the dish, which can be quite time-consuming. However, I have found that using these mixes can be quite helpful, especially when I am short on time.
Despite not being a personal favorite of mine, I have come to appreciate the nuances and complexities of Dhoka-r Dalna. It is a dish that exemplifies the rich culinary heritage of Bengal and is loved by many across the region. Whether it is served as a main course or as a side dish, Dhokar Dalna is a dish that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who tries it.
The term "Dhoka" in Dhokar Dalna refers to the lentil cake. It is not to the Hindi meaning of cheating.
It's worth noting that this particular dish is typically prepared without the use of onions or garlic, which is somewhat atypical for Bengali cooking. Nevertheless, the absence of these ingredients doesn't detract from the dish's flavor in any way. In fact, it contributes to its distinct taste.
Bengali Dhokar Dalna- Ingrediants and Process
The dish Dhoka is made using a combination of Cholar Daal and Matar Daal. However some individuals may choose to only use Cholar Daal or Bengal Gram. My mother prefers a ratio of 3:1 for both lentils. I also use both depending on the availability of Matar Dal or Yellow Split Pea in my kitchen. Potatoes are a crucial ingredient in almost every Bengali "Dalna,". The size of the potato determines the name of the gravy in Bengali cuisine. When preparing Dalna, it is necessary to use medium-cut potatoes.Print
Dhokar Dalna is a classic Bengali curry that is made without using onion or garlic. It features potato chunks and fried lentil cakes, known as dhoka bhaja, which give the dish its distinct flavor. This post includes instructions for making the dhoka bhaja from scratch as well as the steps for making the curry itself.
To make Dhoka:
- 150g Bengal Gram (Chana Dal)
- 75g Yellow split pea (Matar dal)
- 1 Tsp. Sugar
- 1 Tsp. Asafoetida
- ½ Tsp. Garam Masala Powder
- ½ Tsp. Cumin Powder
- ½ Tsp. Carom Seed (Jowan/ Ajwain)
- ½ Tsp. Turmeric powder
- ½ Tsp. Kashmiri Red Chili powder
- 200ml Refined Vegetable for Frying
- 1 Tsp. Salt
For Making the Dhokar Dalna:
- 12 Fried Dhoka
- 2 Potatoes (Big Size)
- 2 Tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. Ginger Paste
- ½ Tsp. Asafoetida
- ½ Tsp. Cumin Seeds
- 2 Dry Red Chilli
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Tsp. Cumin Powder
- 1 Tsp. Bengali Garam Masala Powder
- 1 Tsp. Sugar
- ½ Tsp. Turmeric powder
- 1 Tsp. Kashmiri Red Chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. Ghee
Making of Dhoka Bhaja or Fried Lentil Cakes:
- To prepare Dhoka, start by soaking both pulses for a few hours or overnight.
- Blend the lentils to a medium-smooth texture.
- Dry roast carom seed and grind it into powder.
- Add salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, sugar, asafoetida, garam masala powder, cumin powder, and carom seed powder to the paste.
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan.
- Cook the paste for 2 to 3 minutes until the moisture evaporates a bit and the mixture turns dry.
- Pour the mixture into a dish and let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting it into small diamond or square pieces.
- Fry the Dhoka in hot oil until they turn golden brown and strain from the oil.
- Fry 2-3 Dhoka in each batch.
- Keep three tablespoons of oil in the pan to fry potatoes.
Making of Dhoka-r Dalna:
- Use the oil kept in the pan to fry potatoes.
- While frying sprinkle salt and turmeric powder and fry until they turn golden brown.
- Make a paste with one tablespoon of water, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and also cumin powder.
- Set it aside.
- In another pan, heat two tablespoons of oil and mix it with cumin seeds, bay leaf, dried red chilies, and asafoetida as well.
- Add chopped tomatoes and ginger paste and cook for a few minutes.
- Then, add the previously prepared masala paste.
- Cook until the oil separates from the mixture.
- Add a little water if necessary and add salt and sugar.
- Now add the fried potatoes and two cups of hot water, and cover the pan.
- Cook until the potatoes soften.
- Add the fried dhokas and cook for five minutes on low heat.
- If needed, crumble one dhoka bhaja and add it to the gravy to thicken it.
- Finally, add ghee and garam masala powder and cook for one or two more minutes before turning off the heat.
- Let the dish sit for ten minutes before serving.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Bengali
Keywords: Dhokar Dalna Recipe, Bengali Dhokar torkari
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Pairing Boot-er Dhonkar Daalna
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Bengali Dhoka -r Dalna while serving a Vegetarian Bengali meal.
Bengali No Onion No Garlic Recipes
Here are few more recipes from Bengali cuisine cooked without onion and garlic apart from the recipes I have shared above.
- Kumror Chokka (Also known as Bengali Kumro Torkari)
- Mochar Ghonto Narkel ar Bhaja Bori diye (also known as Bengali Banana Blossom Curry)
- Shojne Phuler Chorchori
- Kochu Shak er Ghonto (also known as Taro Leaf Mishmash)
- Shukto a Bengali delicacy | Bengali Mix-veg Shukto Recipe
- Sada Aloor Dum (also known as White Dum Aloo Bengali style)
- Lau Shaker Chorchori (also known as Bengali Vegetarian Mishmash with Bottle Gourd Greens)
- Palong Shaker Ghonto
Have you tried the Bengali Dhokar Torkari recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
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